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DARIUS DAVIES: ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA - THE DIRECTOR'S CUT

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Comedy

Venue:The Free Sisters, 139 Cowgate Edinburgh EH1 1JS
Phone: 0131 622 6802
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Gothic Room
AUG 3-14, 16-27 at 18:15 (60 min)
 
Show Image

The true story of following your dreams and having them crushed… along with your bones! At 18, weighing a mere ten stone and possessing absolutely no athletic ability, Darius Davies decided a career in pro-wrestling was his dream.

Shortly after coming to this conclusion, he suffered a life-changing injury. Road to Wrestlemania is a humorous, nostalgic tale featuring the lows and lows of aspiring to a pro-wrestling career. See actual x-rays and an audition video for Tough Enough, which is so bad you'll wince. A must-see comedy for fans and non-fans alike! This is the Director's Cut with all new footage.


Click Here for Show Website

News and Reviews for this Show

August 27, 2017  Broadway World
Stemming from a childhood wish to emulate Hulk Hogan, comedian Darius Davies takes us on a journey into pursuing his dream of becoming a professional wrestler, and how it all went wrong.

You might need a few superkicks or uppercuts yourself to make it into the venue - an unsignposted room right at the back of the crowded Three Sisters. At this popular free venue, people seem to join queues randomly rather than due to keenness for a particular act, so Davies is faced with only a small proportion of his audience identifying as wrestling fans.

Nevertheless, he makes the show suitably accessible to anyone who has just wandered in, backing up his set with the aid of PowerPoint images and well-chosen video clips to illustrate his points, even to those who don't know their armbar from their elbow. There are occasional technical issues with these, but they are well integrated and certainly a benefit to the show.

A confident performer, Davies opens the show by channelling the great ring entrances of wrestling history in a budget style, resulting in an amusing look that is somewhere between Ric Flair and someone's mum. With classic theme music and neon signs handed out to the crowd, it gets the fans present onside immediately. He goes on to tell us of his initial fascination with wrestling despite criticism from his peers, his exploitation as an eager trainee desperate to break into the business, and his hospitalisation after a life-threatening injury in his first training match.

Some of his strongest material is where he tries to apply real world logic to the soapy storylines and characters of wrestling. Davies has a self-deprecating style throughout, particularly when he moves on to his video audition for WWE Tough Enough, a reality show looking to find the next John Cena or Brock Lesnar.

Adding authenticity to his tales, Davies plays for us the tape that he submitted as an 18-year-old wannabe, filmed in front of the very tough backdrop of the net curtains in a friend's spare room. Needless to say, Darius Davies never became a world heavyweight champion, but his failure is a rich seam of comedy, well mined here with a broad range of comedy to appeal to just about everyone.

In an unfortunate twist around the climax of his set, two audience members fainted in quick succession in the hot venue. Truly, Davies can now quite literally bill himself as a knockout sensation! Nevertheless, such unscripted drama led to probably my favourite line of the evening as Davies quickly lamented "how far people will go to avoid putting money in at the end of a free show!"

Despite dramatic unplanned incidents and occasional technical issues, there is a lot to enjoy here and plenty of value for a free show on the Fringe. Wrestling fans will lap it up, but even those uninitiated into the world of spandex and suplexes will find plenty to entertain them. Click Here

August 21, 2017  Broadway Baby
By all accounts Darius Davies has had a few interesting experiences this Fringe. The self-confessed comedy heel is back at the festival with a reworked and much-improved professional wrestling based show. In returning he's crafted an hour of comedy which will delight wrestling fans but has enough to entertain anyone else.

As for those interesting experiences I mentioned, check out the early audience reviews on the comedian's Edfringe booking page and you'll see a hilarious range of awful write-ups which have been backed up by a purpose-built twitter account aimed at destroying the performer. The best wrestler's can draw heat as well as exaltation and for some reason or another there is a group of Spaniards somewhere out there spitting fire at Davies.

Is their ire justified? Not in the slightest. Davies has retained the same bombastic energy he brought to the Fringe last year, starting the show at full pace and maintaining the intensity through much of the show. The stronger material is still there. Accompanied by a complementary range of audio and video clips the audience is treated to a breakdown of the old 'wrestling is fake argument' along with some famous, funny and bizarre moments from wrestling history.

All these clips are accompanied by Davies' hi-octane delivery, which only dips when we reach the climax of the show – the story of the comedian's own flirtation with the world of professional wrestling. This tale of a young man's inept attempts at achieving wrestling stardom, and the severe consequences of this incompetence, are presented in a charmingly self-deprecatory way.
This is a director's cut which represents a marked improvement on the original version. All the extra material works well and the comedian's appearance on the BBC is a highlight which, although only tenuously connected to wrestling, draws big laughs. On the evening of this review a couple of technical miscues, and two more serious fainting incidents, threatened to derail Davies but it is to his credit he managed to pull things back on course.

If you're a wrestling fan then see this show. If you're not then you can still find something to enjoy in the occasional pipe bombs Davies has thrown into his set. It's not perfect but it's an energetic and enjoyable hour from an engaging performer. Click Here

August 12, 2017  The Wee Review (previously TV Bomb)
Darius Davies wanted to be a WWF superstar when he was eighteen and if proof were needed he preps the throng with whoops and hollers creating a boisterous atmosphere which momentarily befuddles some patrons who leave having presumably expected a straight comedy set. The presentation which is raucous and authentic immerses the room in iconic wrestling imagery and expresses a true affection and understanding of the entertainment (as it is preferred to be known).
Using flat screens at every angle of the viewing area Davies bewitches the audience with a short deconstruction of the “wrestling is fake” argument thusly: the punches may be fake but the physicality is undeniably brutal and bruising. Much like the wrestlers Davies admires (he provides short summaries of each) this show requires excellent timing and synchronisation relying on split second replays of wrestling moves and of home movies that evoke the wrestling spirit of the teenage Davies.
He revisits some classic moments of WWF and ridicules the choreography with “how can anyone think this real?” not forgetting to lampoon the more intimate physicality with the observation that “using a firework in an opponents bottom to win the fight” is a justifiable strategy and not remotely homo-erotic.
A real highlight is the original audition video he sent to WWF as part of its Tough Enough audition series for raw talent. It depicts a spare room and a young man stumbling through an ill-conceived series of tough guy tropes whilst bizarrely talking about the wrestlers he admires and love for Trish Stratus. Davies’ preparation allows him to rinse all the potential laughter out of such moments and keep the audience onside for a slightly downbeat ending in which x-rays are used to illustrate the extent of the injury that ended Davies wrestling career. Wrestling’s loss is comedy’s gain. Click Here

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